Americans take WCL4 title in style
The United States finished off their week in style with an eight-wicket victory over Italy to claim the Division 4 title at Pianoro on Saturday, with Lennox Cush becoming the third American batsman to post a century in the tournament.
Nepal made short work of their third-place play-off at Medicina, gaining revenge for their defeat earlier in the week with a ten-wicket win, while at Navile the Cayman Islands beat Argentina by seven wickets in the clash between the two relegated sides.
A middle-order collapse by Italy, engineered by seamer Adrian Gordon, enabled the Americans to restrict their opponents to 185 for nine. At 82 for three, with Peter Petricola once more amongst the runs, the hosts had appeared well placed, but when Gordon removed him for 42 the side slumped to 116 for eight in the space of twelve overs.
Gayashan Munasinghe and 17-year-old Roshan Abeywickrama restored Italy's fortunes with a ninth-wicket of 49, and then Abeywickrama and Dilan Fernando stayed to the close to get the total up to 185. Gordon finished with four for 35.
The result was never in doubt once Orlando Baker and Cush weathered the initial storm by the Italian seamers, and their opening stand of 102 in 11 overs ensured the American victory. Baker eventually fell to Petricola for a 34-ball 40, but Cush batted on, his 101 coming from a mere 57 deliveries, with 14 fours and four sixes.
Abeywickrama claimed his wicket with 20 still needed, but Steve Massiah and Carl Wright saw their side through to a crushing win.
It was nowhere near as crushing, however, as Nepal's over Tanzania, as they dismissed their opponents for just 73 and then knocked off the runs in 12.3 overs without losing a wicket.
All the Nepali bowlers got involved in the demolition, with Shakti Gauchan the most successful with three for 10. There were two wickets apiece for Amrit Bhattarai and Basant Regmi, and one each for Binod Das and Mahaboob Alam. Only wicketkeeper Issa Kikasi offered any serious resistance with 32.
Anil Mandal was the more aggressive of the openers when Nepal replied, making 47 from 40 deliveries, while Mahesh Chhetri gave him good support.
Argentina completed a very disappointing week with their sixth defeat, managing only 182 for nine against the Cayman Islands, opener Carlos Gibson leading the way with a patient 42 before he was forced to retire hurt, but three run-outs in the middle of the innings destroyed any real momentum.
Ramon Sealy gave his side a characteristically rapid start when the Caymans replied, hitting a 57-ball 60 with seven fours and three sixes. When he was dismissed by Diego Lord the score was 102 for three, and the game might have swung back the Argentinians' way, but the experienced Saheed Mohamed (42 not out) and Ryan Bovell (33 not out) ensured that the Caymans suffered no further alarms as they batted their side to victory.